COLLEGE STATION, Texas — In the month of September, Texas A&M University is promoting suicide awareness month, providing educational resources and support to prevent losing another Aggie.
"I felt like it was a great way to continue the conversation on mental health and making it normalized to speak about how you feel and just removing the stigma of getting mental health,” said Martin Nunez, Aggies Reaching Aggies peer educator. “It’s an ongoing movement right now and it’s really ramping up. I can feel it everywhere I go on campus.”
With students starting to normalize mental health they are beginning to use resources more regularly on campus.
“They are definitely coming in to utilize CAP services,” said Monica Colson, administrative associate counseling & psychological services. “We recently in January, A&M purchased this program called my SSP that students can download to receive counseling 24/7.”
Gemini Creason-Parker is a Ph.D. student at Texas A&M and also works with Aggies Reaching Aggies.
Creason-Parker said suicide can look different for everyone.
“I would say managing depression or suicide depends on the individual,” said Creason-Parker. “For me, medication and therapy have done wonders, but even with those, I find myself at times, at such a low point that suicide seems like the only answer.”
Parker remembers as a kid how she was always sad at the times she thought she would be the happiest.
“I remember in high school, my family, my biological father and stepmom would take me on vacations to all these great places and I still wasn’t happy,” said Creason-Parker. “They thought I was ungrateful when in reality, I couldn’t feel happiness even though good things were happening in my life.”
She lost both of her grandparents after moving to Texas a few years ago.
She says they were her soul, and the grief still hits her when it’s least convenient.
“The physical pain you feel with heartbreak is unimaginable so it's two years later and I still find myself struggling with the grieving process which is made worse by my depression which increases the likelihood that I will die by suicide.”
For those interested in learning more about suicide awareness month can find flyers around campus from the Counseling and Psychological Services attached with a QR code to sign up for events.
“I try and remind myself it’s at least worth trying to stick around because maybe I can do some amazing things,” said Creason-Parker.